Research proposals

Some general guidelines for writing a research proposal are provided below, applicants should follow more specific instructions provided by Schools or scholarship application procedures where these are provided.

A good proposal should contain the following elements:

  • a straightforward, descriptive, and informative title
  • a clear account of exactly what the question is that your research will address
  • an account of why this question is important and worth investigating
  • an assessment of how your own research will engage with recent study in the subject
  • an assessment of the key theoretical, empirical and/or policy literatures to which the study will contribute
  • an indication of the theoretical/analytical frame that will be utilised by the study
  • a brief account of the methodology and approach you will take
  • a discussion of the primary sources that your research will draw upon, including printed books, manuscripts, archives, libraries, or museums
  • an indicative bibliography of secondary sources that you have already consulted and/or are planning to consult

The length of the proposal should normally be no more than 1500 words not including references